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United States Department of Health & Human Services

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Find HHS Jobs

Where to Look

There are two ways of searching for open HHS job announcements:

USAJOBS is the official job site of the U.S. Federal Government. Following the link to USAJOBS from this page will allow you to search HHS announcements. However, not all HHS openings are posted on USAJOBS. Some scientific positions (including tenure-track science positions and guest researchers within HHS Agencies) can be found through the agency jobs pages. If you are looking for a scientific or clinical position at the HHS, review individual agencies.

Search the HHS USAJOBS page

HHS has its own search page in USAJOBS. The benefit of the HHS search page is that it is already filtering for jobs available at HHS. You may still use the main search page to search for jobs at HHS and other government agencies.

There are several options available for job searching on the HHS USAJOBS page:

  • Agency Search
  • Keyword Search
  • Series Number Search
  • Occupational Series
  • Location Search
  • Applicant Eligibility

You may utilize all or none of these search options when looking for HHS announcements.

Agency Search


The Agency selection allows you to choose to view jobs for only the Agencies for which you want to work. If you have no Agency preference, you can choose Select All.

Keyword Search

keyword search box

You may search by keyword, e.g., nurse, administrative, microbiology. For additional help on performing keyword searches, please see the USAJOBS Fact Sheet on Keyword Search Tips. You may also use this box to locate a specific vacancy if you already have the vacancy announcement number or USAJOBS control number.

Occupational Series Search

Series search box

Federal jobs are organized into Occupational Series. You may search for a job using its occupational series code in the Series Number Search box. Be sure to have four digits—including any leading zeros—when typing the occupational code. You may also search an occupational group by typing the first two digits (e.g. 08 for engineers). The Occupational Series box allows you to search occupations alphabetically. The scrolling list of occupational series reflects only series for which there are vacancies open. If a series does not have a vacancy that is currently OPEN then it will not appear in the list.

General Schedule

The General Schedule (GS) is the basic classification and compensation schedule for white collar federal jobs. (For salary information, visit the Office of Personnel Management's pay tables.) The Federal Wage System (FWS) covers Federal blue collar occupations.

Normally, if you are just starting out, you can qualify for jobs at the GS-2 level with just a high school diploma or as little as three months of general work experience. At GS-3 and GS-4 levels, you can qualify with more months of general experience. Starting at GS-5, jobs generally require one year of specialized experience to qualify. When you have a degree but no specialized experience in a career field, you are eligible for appointment at the GS-5 level. (If you maintained a B average, or met other academic credentials in college, you can start out at the GS-7 pay scale.) To qualify for jobs at the GS-7 and higher grades, your background must have included experience closely related to the work to be performed in the job for which you are applying. You can qualify for GS-9 positions on the basis of a master's degree, and for GS-11 positions on the basis of a doctorate.

The duties and responsibilities assigned to most positions are covered by one occupational series. Some positions are a mix of duties and responsibilities covered by two or more series. Often the appropriate series for these positions is a general series for the occupational group covering the type of work performed. The Office of Personnel Management's Handbook of Occupational Groups and Families describes each occupational group and series.

An interdisciplinary professional position is a position involving duties and responsibilities closely related to more than one professional occupation. For example, the duties of a position assigned research work in the environmental responses of certain living organisms may be accomplished by an employee trained in either biology or physiology. Thus, the position could be classified to either the General Biological Sciences Series, GS-401, or to the Physiology Series, GS-413.

Examples of an occupational series and GS classification in a job announcement

In the Federal GS classification system, occupational groups consist of related occupations grouped together numerically within the same multiple of 100. Under each group are occupational series. For example, GS-0600 is the Medical, Hospital, Dental, and Public Health Group. Included in this Group is the Nurse Series, GS-0610, the Pharmacist Series, GS-0660, and the Epidemiology Series, GS-0601.

  • Public Health Analyst, GS- 0685 -14 This position is classified under the General Schedule, as indicated by the GS. The occupational series is 0685, which is in the Medical, Hospital, Dental, and Public Health Group, GS-600. The grade level for the position is a GS-14.
  • Contract Specialist, GS- 1102 -05/07 This position is also classified under the General Schedule, as indicated by the GS. The occupational series, 1102, is the Contracting Series, under the Business and Industry Group, GS-1100. This example is being offered at the GS-5 and GS-7 grade levels.

Position Titles

Generally, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) prescribes official position titles, which must be used on official documents relating to the position, such as position descriptions. However, agencies may, in addition, choose to use unofficial titles that better describe the duties of the position, for purposes such as recruitment.

OPM has prescribed certain parenthetical titles to be used for some occupational series. Parenthetical titles are also used when it would be helpful to further identify the duties and responsibilities involved. In addition, a parenthetical title of Typing, Stenography, Office Automation (OA), or Data Transcribing, must be added to the official position title if the duties require proficiency at or above competitive level standards for one of these skills. For more information, see OPM's Introduction to the Position Classification Standards.

Federal Wage System

The Federal Wage System (FWS) is the classification and compensation system for trades and labor occupations in the Federal government. A Job Family is a broad grouping of occupations related in one or more ways such as: similarity of functions performed, transferability of knowledge and skills from one occupation to another, or similarity of materials or equipment. For example, 4600 is the Woodwork Family and 5000 is the Plant and Animal Work Family. An occupation is a subgroup of a job family that includes all jobs at the various skill levels in a particular kind of work. For example, 4607 is Carpentry and 5048 is Animal Caretaking.

Example of an FWS occupation in a job announcement

  1. Electrician, WG- 2805 -10 This position is classified under the Federal Wage System, as indicated by the WG, for Wage Grade. The occupation is 2805, an Electrician, which under the Electrical Installation and Maintenance Family, 2800. The position is at a Grade 10 under the Federal Wage System. For more information, visit:

Location Search

Location search box

You may also search specifically by location. Locations where vacancies are currently open will appear in this list. It is sometimes advisable to browse more than location in the same geographical area. For example, for a location in the DC Metro area, you may select DC-Washington, VA and MD. To search multiple locations, hold the CTRL key while selecting.

Applicant Eligibility

applicant eligibility

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the search page and select the appropriate Appointment Eligibility answer before hitting Enter or clicking Search For Jobs. Selecting the appropriate response will determine what vacancies are displayed. Some positions are only open to current or former federal employees, veterans' preference eligible, etc. If you do not fall into one of the eligibility categories, keep the response "No" and you will only see positions for which you may be eligible.

Veterans' Preference

If you served on active duty in the United States Military and were separated under honorable conditions, you may be eligible for veterans' preference. For more information see the Office of Personnel Management's VetGuide:

Appointment Authorities

There are several mechanisms for appointing an individual to a career or career-conditional appointment. (Permanent federal career status is automatically gained upon completion of the mandatory three-year career-conditional period.) If the Office for Personnel Management determines that there is a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need, an Agency may use direct-hire authorities to appoint candidates directly to jobs (information on NIH's Direct Hire Authority). For information on direct hire authorities in use at other HHS agencies please contact the appropriate agency help desk. Competitive examining is the traditional method for entering the Federal service. Some appointments allow an employee to be converted to a career-conditional appointment noncompetitively, including the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), the Presidential Management Fellows Program, and Schedule A appointments.

The Schedule A Appointing Authority allows qualified people with physical disabilities to obtain employment in positions consistent with their level of skills and abilities. After completing two years of satisfactory performance, employees may be converted to appointments in the competitive service.

For more information on Appointing Authorities, visit:

Reinstatement Eligibility

Reinstatement allows an individual to reenter the Federal competitive service workforce without competing with the public by applying for Federal jobs open only to status candidates. (However, reinstatement eligibility does not guarantee you a job offer.) In order to have reinstatement eligibility an applicant must have held a career or career-conditional appointment at some time in the past. If so, there is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who:

  • Have veterans' preference, or
  • Acquired career tenure by completing three years of substantially continuous creditable service.

If you do not have veterans' preference (see the Office of Personnel Management's VetGuide) or did not acquire career tenure, you may be reinstated within three years after the date of your separation. Reinstatement eligibility may be extended by certain activities that occur during the three year period after separation from your last career or career-conditional appointment. For more information visit:

When you have completed the search options, click Search for Jobs and your results will be displayed.

Additional guidance on using the USAJOBS HHS search page can be found at: If you encounter any technical problems using the USAJOBS search engine, please e-mail USAJOBS help.

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Last revised: August 21, 2006


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